SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- --
By joining the military, Capt. Charday Caminero’s outlook on diversity expanded through her years of service and helped cement her appreciation of its benefits.
Today, her service embodies Air Force diversity.
Caminero learned about the benefits of diversity early in life. As a child, Caminero moved from place to place across the country with her family. She experienced different regional cultures, from Miami to Las Vegas.
“I ended up going to 19 different schools,” said Caminero. “At the end of the day, those experiences helped me become the person I am today. It was great to travel and experience other cultures.
“If I had stayed in one place my whole life, joining the military definitely would’ve been a huge culture shock,” she said.
February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate and recognize African American history and achievements, Caminero is an example of how impactful black service members are to the armed forces.
“Caminero is creating a legacy with the way she leads the community,” said Capt. Carmilya Jones, 50 Operations Support Squadron, who has known Caminero for years. “We have to continue to show more people like that across the Air Force, show that minorities have something to contribute to the fight.”
Recently, she was selected as the Air Force Space Command’s nominee in the officer category for the Department of Defense’s 2017 Black History Month web special. The special is designed to highlight notable DOD members, civilian, officer and enlisted, of African American heritage. Caminero was nominated for her exceptional work as a flight commander for the 50 OSS.
“I was surprised,” said Caminero. “It was a good surprise, however. I felt honored they chose to recognize me.”
However, those who know Caminero were not shocked.
“She’s steps ahead of everybody, and stands out in more ways than one,” said Jones. “She’s awesome. You will find nobody like her. I was not surprised at all about her nomination, it is well deserved.”
Although she wasn’t selected for the overall highlight, Caminero said she appreciates the DOD web special and other military initiatives, which help emphasize different cultures and people. She cited the new Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright as an example of diversity.
“They are taking steps in the right direction,” said Caminero. “We are talking about diversity, identifying problems. It’s great that we are not focusing on one perspective or process.”
She hopes her outlook continues to expand, and agrees the future for African American service members is positive.
“Diversity brings diverse thought,” said Caminero. “The diversity of the Air Force is a reflection of our country. I believe the future looks promising.”